Let me start off right now by confessing  the following:

  1. My son was breastfed until he was 18 months old.
  2. I used mostly cloth diapers
  3. He wasn’t potty trained until he was 2.5
  4. He screamed for three long colicky months
  5. He watches Disney movies
  6. He watches TV
  7. I bribe him frequently with rice pudding, chocolate and cucumbers
  8. My kid frequently tells me he ‘ doesn’t like’ food and refuses to eat it and will then try eight new foods in a week and decide he loves them all
  9. He eats dairy, gluten and sugar.  Sometimes all at the same time
  10. He has plastic  toys
  11. He knows how to use our iPad and my iPhone
  12. We have pets
  13. We live in a condo
  14. He did not sleep in his own bed until he was over a year old.
  15. He goes to daycare three days a week

These are all things that I have been judged for.  Loudly and pointedly judged for.

Not by parenting professionals…not by random strangers.  But by my friends.  My mom friends.

“you know, breastfeeding doesn’t promote weight loss”…”I can’t believe you didn’t breastfeed him until he was two!”…”I can’t believe you deal with all that poo”…”I can’t believe he’s not always in cloth!”…”Colic is a myth.  It’s probably your diet.”…“MY child was potty trained when she was five months old”…”MY child will never see Disney”…”MY child has never watched TV except for educational programming”…”MY child eats everything”…”MY child is totally organic, vegan and holistic”…”MY child never plays with plastic”…”MY child has never seen technology”…”I can’t believe you let him sleep in your bed”….”MY child slept in the family bed until he was five”…”A child really needs a house, not an apartment”….”Pets cause allergies”…”How can you leave him at daycare? ”…”Really?  You don’t work full time?”

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again.  Fuck. Right. Off.

When I was pregnant, I was told frequently about the lovely community of moms that would welcome me with open arms.  A sisterhood of the belly.

Snort.

I remember sobbing in the dark, holding my screaming child at four in the morning. I had tried letting him cry it out, burping him, soothing him and drugging him and nothing worked.  And I was sobbing because three separate mom friends had told me what I was doing wrong and why he was so upset, so all of this must be my fault.

Because this is a competition right?  Who can be the better mom?  Who has the better kid?

I will freely admit that I judge.  A lot.  I judge your choices from food to clothing to car seat to stroller to toys to TV.  I judge it ALL.  I judge your spouses, your partners, your shoes (life is seriously too short for ugly ass shoes) your car and yes, your kid.  But I try REALLY hard to keep that shit to myself. Unless you ask me.  And unless it involves your shoes.  Specifically Crocs. Crocs are nasty.

To be fair, I’m reasonably certain that most of my friends didn’t know that I was feeling judged by them. They probably thought they were being helpful, offering their ‘advice’.  Giving me their books (the Baby Whisperer and I are not friends) and DVD’s and examples of their genius children.  And I say this to all I know and love…if you have felt judged by me, I am genuinely sorry. I know how it feels…if feels like 400 different sorts of ass.

Take a note moms: we all do it differently.  All of us.  No one is right…no one is wrong (well…actually you all are because my child and I are perfect, but I’ll let it slide).  All the parenting books in the world cannot tell you how to raise YOUR CHILD.  They can help…provide advice and  assistance and moments of inspiration and illumination, but when it comes right down to it, it’s all what works best for you and your kid.  As long as no one is bleeding profusely or starving and your kid isn’t being a giant flaming asshole, you’ve done a good job.  You do it your way, and I’ll do it my way…and unless I ask you for advice,  keep your  comments to yourself.  And I promise to do the same.

Unless you are wearing Crocs…then the gloves are off.

Erin
Author

Erin is a New Westminster-based mother of one perfect son and wife of one incredibly patient husband. She is a mother, wife, daughter, sister in law, actor, writer, football player, video game geek, crafting queen, marketing and communications maven and amateur Iron Chef. Prior to her current adventure in motherhood, she was an advertising executive, an executive director and a bunch of other stuff including cucumber pruner and farm hand. She likes to keep things interesting. Her blog Acting Responsible has been an on again, off again love of hers (showing her complete lack of responsibility). But its back...she thinks. Probably. Unless she sees another shiny thing.

4 Comments

  1. My child IS organic. Aren’t they all? And educational programming? Seriously?

    Blah, I too was told about this lovely world of mothers who would be supportive and helpful. I too had a baby who screamed endlessly for months. It’s all a crock of shit. Mothers are the most judgmental group of beings that exist. And my baby didn’t scream because I was a useless mother who was doing it wrong.

    We co-slept, used disposable diapers and only breast fed for two months. You can imagine the wrath that was inflicted on me for those decisions.

  2. I found family to be the most judgemental of all. A generation that did things differently than mine seemed to always be looking down their collective noses at the choices I made.

    My kids are turning out just fine, thank you!

  3. Lynn Morrison

    Thanks for reminding me of just one more reason why I moved to Europe. The judgyjudgersons of the world seem to congregate in North America for some reason. Here you are more likely to catch flack for the “good things” you are doing….”what do you mean you have never left your kids with a babysitter?” or “why is that crazy woman still breastfeeding her three year old?”

    I think that every mom who throws shit on another mom should be immediately impregnated with triplets. If she has enough time to judge then she needs something more to keep her busy.

  4. Pingback: Top 10 posts « Anonymous « BLUNTmoms

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